Introduce yourself to our readers. Who are you and what is your background?
I’m a Canadian-born Nashvillian who loves hot chicken and beer, and for about seven years I ran shop at a music blog called Culture Bully. Having moved on from that project I’ve been contributing to a few websites here and there while also playing around with my camera and doing my own thing on my personal blog.
What relation do you have with music (past-time, passion, a business)?
For about three years I carried on as a full-time freelancer, concentrating on developing Culture Bully as well as doing work for Minneapolis’ local alt-weekly City Pages among a host of other small gigs. That period of my life came to an end last fall though, so I guess you could say that I’m just a fan now, more than anything.
What do you think of the current state of music?
What’s not to enjoy? This year we’ve seen some great new music from Fiona Apple, El-P, Killer Mike, the Ty Segall Band, and Aesop Rock… The current state of music is going to be what you want it to be: if you look for trash, you’ll find it, but if you look for carefully crafted pieces of aural art, the choices are ample. Heard a new Cat Power track the other day that I like also: The grass is looking pretty green from where I’m standing.
Where do you think it’s heading?
I just shook up the Magic 8-Ball and was given this as a response: “Pop punk revivals and the return of Master P.” Though not exactly the answer I was expecting, stranger things have happened, right? (As a sidenote: Don’t you think that’s a strange answer for the toy company to be including in Magic 8-Balls? I mean, really, how many times is that going to remotely answer someone’s question? Get your shit together Magic 8-Ball people, the buck stops here.)
What are your favorite websites to discover new talent, any tips for our readers?
Honestly, I don’t really know what’s hot right now in terms of finding new music. I check Pitchfork once a day to see what’s shaking but don’t have the passion (as you referred to it before) to stay on top of things like I used to. I’m happy to be ridding myself of the PR email diet as well, and just finding music on a level that I would consider slightly more organic, at least from the standpoint of a fan. If a friend recommends something, I’ll check it out, and if it get a “Best Album in the World” stamp of approval from someone I respect (guess there are a few names I pay attention to more than others: Jeff Weiss, Nitsuh Abebe), I’ll check it out. Otherwise, I’m having more fun by not discovering new talent via websites…
One of the issues that I return to is that there’s just so much music right now, and so many outlets for it online, that it’s impossible to hear everything that’s good. And I’m not even talking obscure indies that pop up on the radar from time to time: Staying on top of what’s going on right now — even only with mainstream releases — means dedicating a ridiculous amount of time to sifting through everything to find something you actually enjoy. It’s a paradox of abundance regarding blogs now every bit as much as it is music: there’s so much out there that’s deemed “good” that I have no idea to know where to start. Even on Pitchfork, there’s no way to consume everything that hits the website on a daily basis.
I never felt like I was a great curator, and I don’t think most music bloggers (or even, eh hem, “journalists”) are, which is unfortunately a large part of why I don’t put my faith in many voices online in searching for hot new jamz.
What role will the internet play in the music industry future?
The industry continues to change in ways that even those who consider themselves extremely tuned-in won’t be able to predict. Having never used Spotify, I can’t say for sure, but friends tell me it’s great. But, for instance, something else is going to come along and dwarf Spotify, then the tides will again change when something else makes that once-great technology obsolete, again re-configuring the face of the industry. I don’t really have anything here except the abstract: The Internet will play as big a role in redefining the music industry moving forward as it will in redefining every other part of our lives. Which is to say, tremendously.
[This article was originally published by BandMo.]